A showdown between the Commander in Chief of the US Armed forces and US lawmakers -many of them veterans- has begun, and the topic is over what kind of fate servicemembers should face if they refuse to take a still-new and mandated vaccine.
With the vaccine now mandatory for military personnel, many officers and enlisted are currently refusing to take the jab, with some facing separation while others resign.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon ordered all service members to get vaccinated and made it clear that they were not above court-martialing those who don’t.
However, a new amendment in the most recent National Defense Authorization act allows servicemembers an honorable way out if they object to taking what many feel is a vaccine with relatively-unknown long-term effects.
The amendment, dubbed “Section 716” and penned by Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, prohibits “any discharge but honorable” for vaccine refusal.
However, the Biden Administration is not pleased with the amendment and is seeking to remove it, opting instead for a more draconian approach.
“I am appalled that the Biden Administration is trying to remove my amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that prevents anything but an honorable discharge for service members who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Green told the Daily Mail. “This was a bipartisan amendment- every Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee agreed to it.”
Despite having bipartisan backing and Section 716 states that “many Americans have reservations about taking a vaccine that has only been available for less than a year,” the current administration appears to demand the hardline stance.
“No American who raises their hand to serve our Nation should be punished for making a highly personal medical decision,” Green stated.
At the time of this artice’s publication, active duty members of the Army will have to be vaccinated by December 15, while their Air Force counterparts will have to get the shot by the 2nd day in November. Meanwhile, active duty Marines and Sailors Have until November 28.
The latest group, reserve members of the US Army, have until June 2022.
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